Building a New Social Commons

Here’s a fascinating piece by the New Economics Foundation which, whilst it is lengthy, is well worth a read.  It puts together a broad ranging strategic framework for thinking about how society may be refocused away from an emphasis of the individual towards an emphasis of the value of the social in human life:

http://neweconomics.org/2017/05/building-new-social-commons/

Why The Railways Should Be Returned To The Public

Here’s an article explaining the failure of the privatisation of a public asset, and some good reasons as to why we should “take back control” of the railways to improve services and cut prices rather than using them to increase inequality, and fund other countries publicly owned rail services:

http://neweconomics.org/2017/01/railways-failed-next/

Common Transition

Here’s a group that look to collate ideas and policies in a movement toward breaking down the dichotomy of market and state by reintroducing a conception of the commons, as a third term whilst re-imagining both state and market at the same time:

“This process requires the re-conception and re-alignment both of traditional commons and co-operative thinking, and practice, into new institutional forms that prefigure a new political economy of co-operative commonwealth.”

http://commonstransition.org/about-commons-transition-2/

http://commonstransition.org/what-is-commons-transition/

Farm Workers Credit Union

Here’s a great article about a credit union that was set up by farmers to help support each other financially and also in times of emergency/strike to provide financial support.  One of the best models for how banking should really be run:

https://libraries.ucsd.edu/farmworkermovement/2010/03/farm-worker-credit-union-by-abby-flores-rivera-2/

Global Village Construction Set

Here’s a 2 minute video about a project by Open Source Ecology, a group of farmers, engineers and architects to create a set of fifty different industrial machines that it takes to build a small civilisation with modern comforts, all rooted in open source design and aimed to build them at the cost of materials with zero waste:

http://opensourceecology.org/

 

Co-ops Anchored in Local Institutions, Cleveland, USA

A fascinating strategy for empowering local worker owned businesses to empower communities through their involvement in local green cooperatives, here’s a quote:

 An important aspect of the plan is that each of the Evergreen co-operatives is obligated to pay 10 percent of its pre-tax profits back into the fund to help seed the development of new jobs through additional co-ops. Thus, each business has a commitment to its workers (through living-wage jobs, affordable health benefits and asset accumulation) and to the general community (by creating businesses that can provide stability to neighborhoods).  The overall strategy is not only to go green but to design and position all the worker-owned co-ops as the greenest firms within their sectors.”
https://www.thenation.com/article/cleveland-model/